Nancy Johnson is an American author who made her debut with The Kindest Lie. The book was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection and was recommended by a wide variety of publications, including O Magazine, Elle, Refinery 29, and the New York Post. The book is about a Black engineer named Ruth who returns to her hometown in search of the child she gave up as a teen.

Johnson attended Northwestern University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a native of Chicago and has worked as a television journalist at CBS and ABC affiliates in markets nationwide. Nancy has been successful in her role with Emmy nominations and award wins. In addition to her writing, she manages brand communications for a large health care nonprofit in her hometown of Chicago.

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Publication Order of NancyJohnson Standalone Novels

The Kindest Lie (2021)Description / Buy at
People of Means (2025)Description / Buy at

If You Like Nancy Johnson Books, You’ll Love…

The Kindest Lie takes place in 2008 as Obama has just won the presidency and there is a new kind of hope. Ruth Tuttle lives in Chicago and is an Ivy-league educated Black engineer. She is married to a kind man who is eager to start a family, but she is uncertain. Ruth still struggles with her memory of a baby that she gave birth to and had to give up as a teenager. At the time she had promised her family that she’d never look back, but now she feels as if she needs to make peace with her past in order to move forward. Ruth returns to the Indiana factory town where she grew up and finds a place plagued by racism and despair. She begins to dig into her past and makes an unexpected connection with Midnight, a young white boy looking for connection. Ruth is getting closer to the truth when an incident strains the town’s racial tensions and puts her and Midnight on a path that could change everything in both of their lives.

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